Time to teach learners about the real world says new published research

Teachers should forget about just producing young people with good exam results and instead focus on equipping them with 21st century habits of mind so they can survive in uncertain times, according to new research.

There is a growing consensus across the world that education systems should adapt to help pupils think beyond individual subjects.

Professors Bill Lucas and Guy Claxton at the University of Winchester’s Centre for Real World Learning are revealing the results of their latest research on the subject in a new book, Expansive Education: teaching learners for the real world.

“If we are to produce learners who will be successful today, we need to offer them education which is expansive in four ways,” said Professor Bill Lucas. “First, learning must expand beyond success in individual subjects.

“Second, it must be offered by educators who believe – as the evidence shows – that intelligence is expandable.

“Third, it must reach out beyond school to parents and the wider community; and finally, teachers must grow to become researchers, rigorously noticing the impact of their teaching on students.”

Professor Guy Claxton added: “Many schools talk in rhetorical terms about the need to create 21st century learners – and this research begins to show precisely how this can be achieved.”

The new book is being launched this week in London at the Royal Academy of Engineering – and previews have already been well received.

Internationally renowned thinker and creator of Habits of Mind, Professor Art Costa commented: “The authors persuade us to reframe the way we see education – and at the same time use language of expansiveness to help activate new ways of thinking about school.

“In this excellent book, there are numerous, convincing reasons as to why we should change things, illuminated by rich resources to help us do so.”